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Steve Fuller has a reputation for setting the terms of debate
within science and technology studies. In his latest book, New
Frontiers in Science and Technology Studies he charts the debates
likely to be of relevance in the coming years.
A book to share an inspired vision by restoring 'beautiful, aesthetic poetry into the history of science'. This unorthodox work has been called ' - an heroic intellectual tour de force - reflecting the act of genius' but hyperbole probably does duty for description which the work defies. It breaks all the rules and is unlike any other. It is so comprehensive in its sweep, original in its writing, ground-breaking in its synthesis, that to isolate any aspect is to misrepresent its nature. That science has reached the end of its habitual road, and must apply itself to the 'hard problem' of consciousness, and a synthesis with spirituality has now become commonplace and the subject of innumerable hand-wringing books. This book differs from these others by retracing the scientific journey to reveal how and why science has reached the current impasse. Instead of lamenting the consequences of the road less travelled by science, the road of inner, spiritual understanding, it reveals the presence of quiet inspiration all along. The torch bearers that lit the scientific journey: the Keplers and Faradays that apprehended new relationships were the scientific mystics, the counterparts of spiritually revealed truth. This work exposes the similarity between religious and scientific genius, by taking the journey afresh. In the good-natured and sometimes teasing company of Reason and Soul the reader is invited on a journey through the landscape of Western thought. From the emergence of early man on the Serengeti plains, through Mesopotamia, the pre-Socratic Aegean, the Dark and Middle ages to the Renaissance and Enlightenment what the epic journey reveals is the process of Involution, the recovery of evolutionary memory. The inspirations of genius are the knots in the scientific rosary, and other languages - painting and music - keep pace, all equally reflective of that recovery towards all embracing holism. Science, it is proposed, is the incremental transfer of the memory of evolution encoded in DNA to the collective intellect which has built the scientific paradigm, a model of memory. The entire chronology of scientific recovery is needed to reveal the mirror that involution provides of evolution; from the 'at-one-ment' of primitive man for whom the gods lay in the manifested natural world, through the increasing separation of intellect that came to perceive the natural world as separate, 'outside' the mind of man. The incremental penetration of collective memory to the dawn of creation has recovered everything in intellectual theory, but at the price of a false separation between mind and matter, Man and God. If this sounds formidable as a proposition, it is because it is. By increments, it returns oblivious science to the perennial philosophy, familiar to the ancients. The book traverses the human adventure with swift ease, delivering the history of Western thought with light-hearted poetic economy. Comprehensive footnotes demonstrating 'a rare depth of perceptive scholarship' (Lorimer) are there for those who like their facts; (they take no scientific knowledge for granted) but it is the high poetic vision of the wood and not the trees that is central. Poetry has always been the language of mysticism and this is mystical science, amused, self-mocking and a lot of fun In the words of Philip Franses (Editor, The Holistic Science Journal) -- The genius of involution is not just a mechanism of science relating to the whole but a completely different realisation of the beautiful within living process -- ' Thus the reader is invited to share an experience - and not just another theory. 'A poetic narrative of extraordinary subtlety' touches more deeply than that.
Seed magazine brings together a unique gathering of prominent scientists, artists, novelists, philosophers + other thinkers who are tearing down the wall between science + culture.
We are on the cusp of a twenty-first-century scientific renaissance. Science is driving our culture and conversation unlike ever before, transforming the social, political, economic, aesthetic, and intellectual landscape of our time. Today, science is culture. As global issues--like energy and health--become increasingly interconnected, and as our curiosities--like how the mind works or why the universe is expanding--become more complex, we need a new way of looking at the world that blurs the lines between scientific disciplines and the borders between the sciences and the arts and humanities. In this spirit, the award-winning science magazine Seed has paired scientists with nonscientists to explore ideas of common interest to us all. This book is the result of these illuminating Seed Salon conversations, edited and with an introduction by Seedfounder and editor in chief Adam Bly. Science Is Culture includes:
E. O. Wilson + Daniel C. Dennet
Steven Pinker + Rebecca Goldstein
Noam Chomsky + Robert Trivers
David Byrne + Daniel Levitin
Jonathan Lethem + Janna Levin
Benoit Mandelbrot + Paola Antonelli
Lisa Randall + Chuck Hoberman
Michel Gondry + Robert Stickgold
Alan Lightman + Richard Colton
Laurie David + Stephen Schneider
Tom Wolfe + Michael Gazzaniga
Marc Hauser + Errol Morris
"Dusek's book is an intellectual feast where we find magic, witches, mysterious correlations, trigrams of the I Ching, forces and fields, peasants and Platonists, wild nature, primitives and sophisticates, and how they hang together." --Robert S. Cohen, professor of physics and philosophy emeritus, Boston University While many books have claimed parallels between modern physics and Eastern philosophy, none have dealt with the historical influences of both Chinese traditional thought and nonmechanistic, holistic Western thought on the philosophies of the scientists who developed electromagnetic filed theory. This is the basic question of The Holistic Inspirations of Physics: To what extent is classical field theory a product of organic and holistic philosophies and frameworks? Electromagnetic theory has been greatly influenced by holistic worldviews, Val Dusek posits, highlighting three intellectual traditions that made the development of electromagnetic theory possible: Chinese science, Western Renaissance occultism, and German Romanticism. Among the specific contributions discussed in detail are the Chinese invention of the compass and discovery of the earth's magnetic field and magnetic declination. Western alchemist ideas of active forces and "occult" influences contributed to Newton's theory of universal gravitation as action at a distance, rather than as a result of purely mechanical collisions and contact action. Dusek's wide-ranging, erudite account also delves into the philosophical concepts that were originated by women and were later absorbed into mainstream field theory. Val Dusek teaches philosophy at the University of New Hampshire. He has written many articles on philosophy and science.
History and Philosophy of Science reprints a distinguished selection of important texts published in this field over the last century. This set presents a unique opportunity to gain comprehensive coverage of all aspects of the history and philosophy of science. It covers all major fields of scientific thought throughout history from Physics, Biology, and Cosmology to ESP and Alchemy. It includes texts on all the great historical scientific figures including Darwin, Copernicus, Archimedes and Hooker and covers all main themes in science taking in creation, evolution, the development of scientific methodology and the future of science. For further information on this collection please email email@example.com.
"Psychiatry and Philosophy of Science" explores conceptual issues in psychiatry from the perspective of analytic philosophy of science. Through an examination of those features of psychiatry that distinguish it from other sciences - for example, its contested subject matter, its particular modes of explanation, its multiple different theoretical frameworks, and its research links with big business - Rachel Cooper explores some of the many conceptual, metaphysical and epistemological issues that arise in psychiatry. She shows how these pose interesting challenges for the philosopher of science while also showing how ideas from the philosophy of science can help to solve conceptual problems within psychiatry. Cooper's discussion ranges over such topics as the nature of mental illnesses, the treatment decisions and diagnostic categories of psychiatry, the case-history as a form of explanation, how psychiatry might be value-laden, the claim that psychiatry is a multi-paradigm science, the distortion of psychiatric research by pharmaceutical industries, as well as engaging with the fundamental question whether the mind is reducible to something at the physical level. "Psychiatry and Philosophy of Science" demonstrates that cross-disciplinary contact between philosophy of science and psychiatry can be immensely productive for both subjects and it will be required reading for mental health professionals and philosophers alike.
Recent advances suggest that the concept of information might hold the key to unravelling the mystery of life's nature and origin. Fresh insights from a broad and authoritative range of articulate and respected experts focus on the transition from matter to life, and hence reconcile the deep conceptual schism between the way we describe physical and biological systems. A unique cross-disciplinary perspective, drawing on expertise from philosophy, biology, chemistry, physics, and cognitive and social sciences, provides a new way to look at the deepest questions of our existence. This book addresses the role of information in life, and how it can make a difference to what we know about the world. Students, researchers, and all those interested in what life is and how it began will gain insights into the nature of life and its origins that touch on nearly every domain of science.
This introduction to one of the liveliest and most popular fields in philosophy is written specifically for a beginning readership with no background in philosophy or science. Step-by-step analyses of the key arguments are provided and the philosophical heart of the issues is revealed without recourse to jargon, maths, or logical formulas. The book introduces Einstein's revolutionary ideas in a clear and simple way, along with the concepts and arguments of philosophers, both ancient and modern that have proved of lasting value. Specifically, the theories of the ancient Greek philosophers, Zeno, Euclid and Parmenides are considered alongside the ideas of Newton, Leibniz and Kant as well as the giants of twentieth-century physics, Einstein and Lorentz. The problems at the heart of the philosophy of space and time, such as change, motion, infinity, shape, and inflation, are examined and the seismic impact made by relativity theory and quantum theory is assessed in the light of the latest research. The writing is lucid and entertaining, allowing a beginning readership to grasp some difficult concepts while offering the more experienced reader a succinct and illuminating presentation of the state of the debate. "Space, Time and Einstein" shows the reader the excitement of scientific discovery and the beauty of theory in the search for answers to these fundamental questions.
Quantum physicist, New York Times bestselling author, and BBC host Jim Al-Khalili offers a fascinating and illuminating look at what physics reveals about the world Shining a light on the most profound insights revealed by modern physics, Jim Al-Khalili invites us all to understand what this crucially important science tells us about the universe and the nature of reality itself. Al-Khalili begins by introducing the fundamental concepts of space, time, energy, and matter, and then describes the three pillars of modern physics-quantum theory, relativity, and thermodynamics-showing how all three must come together if we are ever to have a full understanding of reality. Using wonderful examples and thought-provoking analogies, Al-Khalili illuminates the physics of the extreme cosmic and quantum scales, the speculative frontiers of the field, and the physics that underpins our everyday experiences and technologies, bringing the reader up to speed with the biggest ideas in physics in just a few sittings. Physics is revealed as an intrepid human quest for ever more foundational principles that accurately explain the natural world we see around us, an undertaking guided by core values such as honesty and doubt. The knowledge discovered by physics both empowers and humbles us, and still, physics continues to delve valiantly into the unknown. Making even the most enigmatic scientific ideas accessible and captivating, this deeply insightful book illuminates why physics matters to everyone and calls one and all to share in the profound adventure of seeking truth in the world around us.
The scientific work of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) represents a style of learning and understanding which is largely ignored today. The approach of modern science is largely detached, intellectual and analytical, and it is increasingly recognized that many of our contemporary problems stem from the resulting divorce from nature. By contrast, Goethe's way of science pursued understanding through the experience of the 'authentic wholeness' of what was observed. Working with the intuitive mode of consciousness, Goethe aimed at an encounter with the whole phenomenon in its relationship with the observer. In his way of seeing, rather than dividing merely in order to categorize, we should investigate the parts of an object in order to reveal the true nature of the whole. In this invaluable study, Henri Bortoft examines the phenomenological and cultural roots of Goethe's ways of science.
A brand new edition of an internationally-renowned philosophy of science bestseller. Now well into its fourth decade, What is This Thing Called Science? has become something of a classic the world over, available in 19 languages. Each decade, Alan Chalmers has drawn on his experience as a teacher and researcher to improve and update the text. In his accessible style, Chalmers illuminates the major developments in the field of the philosophy of science over the past few years. The most significant feature of this fourth edition is the addition of an extensive postscript, in which Chalmers uses the results of his research into the history of atomism to illustrate and enliven key themes in the philosophy of science. Identifying the qualitative difference between knowledge of atoms as it figures in contemporary science and metaphysical speculations about atoms common in philosophy since the time of Democritus proves to be a highly revealing and instructive way to pinpoint key features of the answer to the question 'What is this thing called science?' This new edition ensures that the book holds its place as the leading introduction to the philosophy of science for the foreseeable future. 'Successive editions have retained and refined its clear, engaging and witty discussions of the most important topics in the field, incorporating the best new research in the field. This latest edition also adds a valuable layer of grounding in the history of science, particularly based on Chalmers' recent extensive research on the history of atomism'. Hasok Chang, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Hans Rausing Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, UK
Integrating both scientific and philosophical perspectives, this book provides an informed analysis of the challenges of formulating a universal theory of life. Among the issues discussed are crucial differences between definitions and scientific theories and, in the context of examples from the history of science, how successful general theories develop. The central problem discussed is two-fold: first, our understanding of life is still tacitly wedded to an antiquated Aristotelian framework for biology; and second, there are compelling reasons for considering that familiar Earth life, which descends from a last universal common ancestor, is unrepresentative. What is needed are examples of life as we don't know it. Potential sources are evaluated, including artificial life, extraterrestrial life, and a shadow biosphere right here on Earth, and a novel strategy for searching for unfamiliar life in the absence of a definition or general theory is developed. The book is a valuable resource for graduate students and researchers studying the nature, origins, and extent of life in the universe.
What should we teach our children about where we come from? Is evolution a lie or good science? Is it incompatible with faith? Have scientists really detected evidence of a creator in nature?
From bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edward Humes comes a dramatic story of faith, science, and courage unlike any since the famous Scopes Monkey Trial. Monkey Girl takes you behind the scenes of the recent war on evolution in Dover, Pennsylvania, when the town's school board decision to confront the controversy head-on thrust its students, then the entire community, onto the front lines of America's culture wars. Told from the perspectives of all sides of the battle, it is a riveting true story about an epic court case on the teaching of "intelligent design," and what happens when science and religion collide.
Stem cell research, genetically modified crops, animals developed with personalized human organs for transplantation, and other previously inconceivable biotech applications could increase the quality of all human lives and maximize the health of the biosphere. But ironically, as the science becomes more precise and transparent, it also becomes more contentious. In "Challenging Nature," Silver argues that although they seem to have little in common, Christian fundamentalists opposed to embryo research and New Age organic food devotees are both driven by a deeply rooted fear that biotechnology--in some guise--challenges the sovereignty of a higher or deeper transcendent authority. In the short term, Silver writes, Eastern spiritual traditions will give Asian countries a research advantage. But over the millennia, human nature may have the potential to remake Mother Nature in the image of an idealized world.
Since the eighteenth century when natural historians created the idea of distinct racial categories, scientific findings on race have been a double-edged sword. For some antiracists, science holds the promise of one day providing indisputable evidence to help eradicate racism. On the other hand, science has been enlisted to promote racist beliefs ranging from a justification of slavery in the eighteenth century to the infamous twentieth-century book, The Bell Curve, whose authors argued that racial differences in intelligence resulted in lower test scores for African Americans. This well-organized, readable textbook takes the reader through a chronological account of how and why racial categories were created and how the study of "race" evolved in multiple academic disciplines, including genetics, psychology, sociology, and anthropology. In a bibliographic essay at the conclusion of each of the book's seven sections, the authors recommend primary texts that will further the reader's understanding of each topic. Heavily illustrated and enlivened with sidebar biographies, this text is ideal for classroom use. John P. Jackson, Jr., is an assistant professor in the department of communication at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is the author of Social Scientists for Social Justice: Making the Case against Segregation and Science for Segregation: Race, Law, and the Case against Brown v. Board of Education. Nadine Weidman is a lecturer in history of science at the Harvard University Extension School and the author of Constructing Scientific Psychology: Karl Lashley's Mind-Brain Debates.
The Cavendish Laboratory is arguably the most famous physics laboratory in the world. Founded in 1874, it rapidly gained a leading international reputation through the researches of the Cavendish professors beginning with Maxwell, Rayleigh, J. J. Thomson, Rutherford and Bragg. Its name will always be associated with the discoveries of the electron, the neutron, the structure of the DNA molecule and pulsars, but these are simply the tip of the iceberg of outstanding science. The physics carried out in the laboratory is the central theme of the book and this is explained in reasonably non-technical terms. The research activities are set in their international context. Generously illustrated, with many pictures of the apparatus used and diagrams from the original papers, the story is brought right up to date with descriptions of the science carried out under the leadership of the very different personalities of Mott, Pippard and Edwards.
Karl Popper has been hailed as the greatest philosopher of all time and as a thinker whose influence is ackowledged by a variety of scholars. This work demonstrates Popper's importance across the whole range of philosophy and provides an introduction to the main themes of philosophy itself.
Is mathematics a discovery or an invention? Do numbers truly exist? What sort of reality do formulas describe? The complexity of mathematics - its abstract rules and obscure symbols - can seem very distant from the everyday. There are those things that are real and present, it is supposed, and then there are mathematical concepts: creations of our mind, mysterious tools for those unengaged with the world. Yet, from its most remote history and deepest purpose, mathematics has served not just as a way to understand and order, but also as a foundation for the reality it describes. In this elegant book, mathematician and philosopher Paolo Zellini offers a brief cultural and intellectual history of mathematics, ranging widely from the paradoxes of ancient Greece to the sacred altars of India, from Mesopotamian calculus to our own contemporary obsession with algorithms. Masterful and illuminating, The Mathematics of the Gods and the Algorithms of Men transforms our understanding of mathematical thinking, showing that it is inextricably linked with the philosophical and the religious as well as the mundane - and, indeed, with our own very human experience of the universe.
Although science was once seen as the product of individual great
men working in isolation, we now realize that, like any other
creative activity, science is a highly social enterprise,
influenced in subtle as well as obvious ways by the wider culture
and values of its time. "Scientific Knowledge" is the first
introduction to social studies of scientific knowledge.
"In this unsettling look at science in America's democratic culture, Christopher Toumey shows how readily the critics of elite science have hijacked scientific authority for their own purposes and] lucidly illustrates the ways in which science has taken on multiple and contested meanings."--Ronald L. Numbers, William Coleman Professor of the History of Science and Medicine, University of Wisconsin Medical School "A fascinating and clearly written analysis of the gap between the science of scientists and its popular understandings in daily American life. . . . Toumey's work is a major contribution to anthropological understandings of science, American culture, and their convergence in the quest for meaning."--Robbie E. Davis-Floyd, University of Texas "Essential to our interrogation of science is informed cultural critique, especially that which is as readable as Conjuring Science. Toumey should be read by all who shape the twenty-first century."--James Peacock, former Presidents, American Anthropological Association What are the implications for Americans when actors who play doctors on television endorse medical products, or when an entire town in the Midwest prepares for an earthquake based on the specious advice of a zoologist? These are just two of the many questions Christopher Toumey asks in his investigation of the role of science in American culture. Toumey focuses on the ways in which the symbols of science are employed to signify scientific authority in a variety of cases, from the selling of medical products to the making of public policy about AIDS/HIV--a practice he calls "conjuring" science. It is the "conjuring" of the images and symbols of scientific authority that troubles Toumey and leads him to reflect on the history of public understanding and the perceptions of science in the United States. He argues that while most Americans invest a great deal of authority in science, there is a vacuum of understanding about scientific knowledge. This gap between belief and understanding greatly influences public policy decisions and democratic processes. Toumey argues that instead of comprehending scientific knowledge, methods, or standards, most Americans know science only in terms of symbols that stand between people and scientific understanding. He breaks this paradox down into three questions. First, what are the historical conditions that have caused the culture of science to be so estranged from other parts of American culture? Second, how does science fit into American democratic culture today? And third, if the symbols of science are being used to endorse or legitimize certain values and meanings, but not the values and meanings of science, then to what do they refer? In witty, readable prose, Toumey investigates these questions by presenting five episodes in science in American life: the fluoridation controversies; the 1986 California referendum on AIDS/HIV policy; the cold fusion controversy; the anti-evolution of creationism; and the mad-scientist stories of fiction and film. Christopher P. Toumey is the author of God's Own Scientists: Creationists in a Secular World (Rutgers University Press). His essays on the cultural meanings of science have appeared in Natural History, Social Studies of Science, and many other journals.
Following in the fashion of Stephen Jay Gould and Peter Medawar, one of the world's leading scientists examines how "pure science" is in fact shaped and guided by social and political needs and assumptions.
This book provides a unique introduction to the study of relationships between gender and biology, a core part of the feminist science research tradition which emerged nearly half a century ago. Lynn Hankinson Nelson presents an accessible and balanced discussion of research questions, background assumptions, methods, and hypotheses about biology and gender with which feminist scientists and science scholars critically and constructively engage. Writing from the perspective of contemporary philosophy of science, she examines the evidence for and ethical implications of biological hypotheses about gender, and discusses relevant philosophical issues including understandings of scientific objectivity, the nature of scientific reasoning, and relationships between biological research and the scientific and social contexts in which it is pursued. Clear and comprehensive, this volume addresses the engagements of feminist scientists and science scholars with a range of disciplines, including developmental and evolutionary biology, medicine, neurobiology, and primatology.
Every day, new warnings emerge about artificial intelligence rebelling against us. All the while, a more immediate dilemma flies under the radar. Have forces been unleashed that are thrusting humanity down an ill-advised path, one that's increasingly making us behave like simple machines? In this wide-reaching, interdisciplinary book, Brett Frischmann and Evan Selinger examine what's happening to our lives as society embraces big data, predictive analytics, and smart environments. They explain how the goal of designing programmable worlds goes hand in hand with engineering predictable and programmable people. Detailing new frameworks, provocative case studies, and mind-blowing thought experiments, Frischmann and Selinger reveal hidden connections between fitness trackers, electronic contracts, social media platforms, robotic companions, fake news, autonomous cars, and more. This powerful analysis should be read by anyone interested in understanding exactly how technology threatens the future of our society, and what we can do now to build something better.
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